Chapter 323

Chapter 323

Transporting items from one area to another on Shabbos:[1]

From a public area with an Eiruv: It is forbidden to carry from a public area [even if it has an Eiruv] four bottles of wine in a basket or box.[2] Rather one is to carry the bottles in his hands, carrying either one or two in each hand.[3] Nevertheless if one has many guests [even if they are not from out of town[4]] which are waiting for him to begin the meal, he may bring all the bottles in a box.[5]

From a closed area: If one needs to transport the bottles from a private area, such as from one apartment to another in the same building, or from one room to another room in the house, then one is to carry as many bottles as possible, even in a basket, in order to diminish the amount of trips made.


When transporting items on Shabbos from a public area that has an Eiruv one may only transfer a small amount at a time, using one’s hands rather than a box. If however one has to hurry home for his many guests, then there is no limitation.

When transporting from a private area, one is to transport as many items as possible in each trip that he makes.


Washing dishes on Shabbos: [6]

All dishes/cutlery needed to be used on Shabbos may be washed anytime on Shabbos, even much time prior to the meal.[7] Thus one may wash the Friday night dishes immediately after the meal on Friday night and does not need to wait until the morning. Furthermore, so long as there still remains one meal which he will eat on Shabbos one may wash as many number of dishes and cutlery as he wants, even if he only needs to use one of those dishes for the meal.[8] If however one will not be eating any more Shabbos meals, such as after Shalosh Seudos [or after the 2nd meal in those homes which do not eat Shalosh Seudos] then it is forbidden to wash any dishes or cutlery.[9] [If however one decides to eat more past the 2nd/3rd meal then he may wash the dishes for the meal.[10]]

Washing cups: It is permitted to wash cups throughout the entire day of Shabbos, even after the final meal[11], unless one is certain that he will no longer need the cup, in which case it is forbidden to wash it.

Scrubbing, Shining and Polishing dishes and silverware:[12] One may scrub down, shine and polish all dishes and cutlery needed to be used on Shabbos, even if they are made of silver. It is however forbidden to clean or shine silver using a material which will inevitably remove a layer of the silver from it.[13]

Washing dishes with salt water:[14] One may not use salty water to scrub the vessels as by doing so one actively dissolves the salt which is forbidden due to the Nolad prohibition.[15] One may however rinse them using salty water [so long as he does not rub his hands in the process.[16] Likewise one may place salt in water initially on Shabbos for this purpose even if the water ratio will be less than 1/3 of the mixture.[17]]

Washing one’s dishes with soap:[18] It is forbidden to wash ones dishes using a bar of soap.[19] [One may however use liquid soap as will be explained in the Q&A]

Washing off non-Kosher food from a utensil: See the end of the next Halacha!


One may wash as many dishes as he wishes if there is still one remaining meal left to be eaten on Shabbos. After the final meal, dishes may not be washed with exception to cups, unless one knows for certain he will not be needing the cups until after Shabbos, in which case even cups may not be washed.

Q&A On washing Dishes

May one wash dirty dishes even if he has more clean dishes available?

Some Poskim[20] rule it is better not to wash the dishes if there are clean dishes available. Others[21] rule it is completely forbidden. Others[22] rule it is even initially permitted to wash dirty dishes for the meal even if one has clean dishes available to use. Practically the custom is to be lenient.

May one wash the dishes after his last meal if they are tarnishing the cleanliness of the house?[23]

Yes. One may do so according to all opinions, even if he does not need them to eat another meal on Shabbos.[24]

May one wash dishes on Shabbos if he will only be using them the next Shabbos?

No.[25] However there are Poskim[26] which rule this is allowed.

May one soak the dishes in water after his last Shabbos meal?[27]

If one is doing so merely so the food not stick to the dishes, then soaking it is allowed. If however food is already stuck on and one desires to soak it in order to remove the food, then doing so is forbidden. It is however permitted to place the dishes in the sink as normal, and then proceed to wash one’s hands over it.[28]

May one wash his food pots on Shabbos?

No[29], unless one plans on using the pot on Shabbos for a certain usage.


May one enter water into his food pot in order to let the pot soak?

If there is food stuck to the bottom of the pot, doing so is forbidden, as explained above.


May one wash his Kiddush cup out after Kiddush of the day meal?

If one is particular to only use the cup for Kiddush and Havdala then it may not be washed after the daytime Kiddush unless one plans on using it. If however one is not particular in this respect then it may be washed without throughout the day as is the law by other cups.

In all cases one may rinse out the wine and then drink some water out from the cup and place it on the drying rack.


Q&A on Soaps

Which soaps may be used to wash dishes?[30]

  • It is forbidden to use a bar of soap.
  • Liquid soap: Liquid soap may be used on Shabbos.[31] This includes even if the soap is slightly thick to the point that it cannot be poured like actual liquid but is rather more like a pasty substance. [However there is an opinion[32] which is stringent against using liquid soap even when the soap is thin like water due to the smoothening prohibition. However if one added water to the soap and it has thus already been melted down with water then it is permitted to be used according to all[33].] Practically the custom is to avoid using thick liquid soap.[34] Regarding using scented liquid soaps, see Volume 2 “The Laws of Molid Reiach”
  • Dish detergent:[35] May be used with a large amount of water, so as not to transgress the kneading prohibition. Likewise one may rub it onto the dishes using wet hands and then wash it off.


May one place soap into a cup of liquid and have it dissolve and then use that to wash dishes? [36]

Yes, as doing so is similar to placing ice in ones drink which is allowed. Furthermore one may even mix the soap into the water through shaking the vessel.[37]

However some are stringent to only place in the bar of soap from before Shabbos.[38]



Q&A on Sponges

Which forms of sponges may be used to wash the dishes?

Regular sponge: It is forbidden to use a sponge on Shabbos due to the squeezing prohibition.[39] This applies even if the sponge has a handle.[40]

Synthetic sponges and steel wool[41]: Some Poskim[42] rule all forms of synthetic or steel wool sponges are forbidden to be used due to it being a mundane act, and due to the squeezing prohibition.

Others[43] however permit using synthetic [or metal[44]] sponges which have their threads visibly spread apart from each other, and thus does not involve squeezing.  However they forbid using steel wool[45], and any sponge which has its threads close to each other. Others[46] question that perhaps it is permitted in all cases[47], although they rule one is not to be lenient by closely knitted sponges. Others[48] rule that even by those sponges which are permitted one may only use it if it is designated specifically for Shabbos.


Q&A on Polishing

May one polish glass dishes?

Yes.[49] This may be done if one plans to use the dishes on Shabbos. Nevertheless there are Poskim[50] which forbid this in all cases.


May one polish silverware, copperware and other silver vessels?

Some Poskim[51] rule this is forbidden in all cases, even with a dry cloth. Seemingly however according to Admur[52] this is permitted to be done[53] so long as one is not using an item which will inevitably remove a layer of silver or copper from the vessel, such as to simply shine it and not remove tarnish. According to all it is forbidden to rub off tarnish from metal or silver.[54]


May one remove rust from metal, such as from the blades of a knife?[55]



Immersing vessels in a Mikveh:[57]

It is forbidden to immerse a vessel[58] in a Mikveh on Shabbos if the vessel requires immersion in order to be used.[59] Thus any vessel bought from a gentile and has not yet been immersed may not be immersed on Shabbos. This applies even if one did not have the ability to immerse the vessels before Shabbos.

Giving the vessel to a gentile: Being that one may not immerse the vessel on Shabbos, and it is forbidden to use a vessel without immersion, one’s only option is to give the vessel to a gentile as a present and then borrow it back from the gentile. This however may only be done if one needs to use the vessel on Shabbos.[60] In such a case, after borrowing the vessel back from the gentile one may use the vessel without immersion, as it now legally belongs to the gentile. Nevertheless after Shabbos one must immerse the vessel without a blessing[61] [or immerse it together with a vessel that requires a blessing[62]]. [Alternatively one should ask the gentile after Shabbos to acquire the vessel back to him as a complete present, or buy it back with a few coins, in which case one can make a blessing on the immersion of that vessel according to all.[63]]

Immersing the vessel in an inconspicuous manner: It is permitted to immerse the vessel in waters that are Kosher for a Mikveh if it is unnoticeable to the onlooker that he is doing so to purify the vessel. Hence a pitcher and other vessel meant to draw water may be entered into the Mikveh waters to draw out water, therefore purifying the vessel in the process.[64] In such a case one may not say a blessing on the immersion, as if he were to do so it would be evident that his intents are in truth to purify the vessel.[65] [Thus one who has other vessels available may not immerse the vessel in this method, as by doing so one is causing it to lose its blessing.[66] Likewise only pitchers and cups may be immersed, as only they are capable of drawing water and hence fooling the onlooker. One however may not immerse cutlery and china in a Mikveh under the disguise that he is simply washing off the dirt from the vessels, as it is not common at all to do so in a Mikveh, and one’s true intent is hence evident to all.[67]  Based on this today that it is no longer common to draw water at all from a Mikveh or any body of water other than one’s sink, it would hence be forbidden to immerse vessels in a Mikveh under all circumstances, as doing so is always apparent of one’s true intention.[68]]

The law if one transgressed and immersed the vessel: If one transgressed [even advertently[69]] and immersed a vessel on Shabbos it nevertheless may be used on Shabbos.[70]

The law on Yom Tov: It is forbidden to immerse vessels on Yom Tov just as is forbidden to be done on Shabbos. If however one did not have the ability to immerse the vessel at any time prior to Yom Tov and on Yom Tov he received his first opportunity, then one may immerse the vessel.[71] Nevertheless one may not rule this way for one who asks him if he may immerse these vessels, [and is rather to tell him that immersing is forbidden in all cases].[72] Likewise one may not immerse the vessels in front of other people.[73]

Washing off non-Kosher food from a utensil:[74] It is permitted to rinse off a vessel that was used to eat non-Kosher food if one plans to use the vessel that day.[75] This applies even if there is remnant of the non-kosher food on the vessel.[76]



It is forbidden to immerse vessels on Shabbos in a Mikveh in all cases. If one needs this vessel for Shabbos and cannot do without it, then he may give the vessel to a gentile as a present and then borrow it back from him and use it without immersion. After Shabbos he is to immerse it without a blessing.


May one immerse a vessel on Shabbos if there is a doubt as to whether it even requires immersion?

Some Poskim[77] rule that if there are no other vessels available, and one is unable to give it to a gentile, as explained above, then one may be lenient to immerse the questionable vessel whether it is made of glass or metal.

Others[78] rule that if the vessel in question is made of glass then it may be used on Shabbos without being immersed[79] and if made of metal may be immersed.

Others[80] however rule it is forbidden to immerse the vessel in all circumstances, and it is likewise forbidden to use the vessel even if made of glass, being that it still requires immersion.[81]


[1] 323/4-5

[2] As doing so appears like a mundane act, as it appears as if one is carrying loads. It is therefore belittling of Shabbos to do so in an area that he can be seen by the public. Likewise people may come to think one is doing so for a weekday purpose, which is forbidden to be done on Shabbos. [ibid

[3] As when carrying with one’s hands he is doing so in a way different than that of the regular week. [ibid]

[4] Admur 510/20 regarding Yom Tov; Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 41 regarding Shabbos.

[5] As having him make many trips will delay the start of the meal. If however one is able to bring the bottles in an irregular way without delaying the meal, then he must do so.

[6] 323/6-7

[7] Such as immediately after the previous meal. [ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun why doing so does not transgress the Borer restrictions?

[8] So rules Admur 323/6 regarding cups and the same applies for all eating utensils. The reason for this is because once the Sages allowed washing a dish for the meal, they no longer restricted how many dishes one may wash as every dish washed can possibly be used on Shabbos. Thus this is allowed even if one is certain that he will not need to use all the dishes washed.[Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 30 in name of Machatzis Hashekel and Peri Megadim]

[9] As by doing so one is preparing for after Shabbos, and it is forbidden for one to trouble himself on Shabbos for the sake of after Shabbos.[ ibid]

[10] Ketzos Hashulchan 146/16

[11] As there is no set time for drinking. [ibid]

[12] 323/11

[13] Silver is soft and can have layers of it rubbed off during polish. Doing so is forbidden due to the Memacheik/Smoothening prohibition.  Now although one has no intention to remove a layer of the silver and smoothen it, but rather simply to shine it, nevertheless this is an inevitable occurrence and is hence forbidden. It is however permitted to polish the silver using soap and the like which do not inevitably remove the silver, as even if it happens to do so, since this is not inevitable and one did not intend to do so, it is therefore permitted. [ibid]

[14] 323/12

[15] See 320/19 which brings a dispute in this matter. Practically, Admur rules to be stringent.

[16] 320/19

[17] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 33, based on fact Admur omits the opinion of the Taz which rules making more than 2/3 ratio of salt to water is forbidden.

[18] 326/10

[19] As by doing so one dissolves the soap which is forbidden due to the Molid [creating new substance] prohibition. Now although there are opinions which rule that there is no prohibition against creating a new substance and the reason behind the prohibition for dissolving ice is due to a decree of fruit juices, which has no relevance to dissolving soaps and the like, and hence according to them it is permitted to dissolve soap. Nevertheless Admur concludes one is to be stringent like the first opinion. [ibid]

[20] Minchas Shabbos 80/154; Tosefes Shabbos 323/8, Betzeil Hachachmah 4/130; see Sheivet Halevy 6/42

[21] Beir Moshe 6/82

[22] Bris Olam Ofah 90; Mishneh Halachos 6/80

[23] See Beir Moshe ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 323/1

[24] This is similar to the allowance to make the beds on Shabbos morning even though they will not be used until the after Shabbos.

[25] Tehila Ledavid 302/6

[26] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 323/1

[27] SSH”K 12/3

[28] Az Nidbaru 5/36

[29] As pots are not a meal utensil and are rather used for the cooking. Hence cleaning them serves no benefit for the meal.

[30] SSH”K 14/16 footnote 49, based on Ketzos Hashulchan 138 footnote 31 with regards to using toothpaste. So rules also Ketzos Hashulchan explicitly in 146 footnote 32

[31] As it is already a liquid and the bubbles that it creates have no significance.

[32] Igros Moshe 1/113

[33] So rules Az Nidbaru 1/16 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 326/8

[34] Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 3 17/73

[35] Piskeiy Teshuvos 323/5

[36] Ketzos Hashulchan 127 footnote 13

[37] As explained above in Halacha 2 Q&A there, based on Ketzos Hashulchan 127 Footnote 2. So also rules SSH”K 14/16                                                       

[38] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 32

[39] 320/23

[40]   As a sponge with a handle may only be used to clean spills, as in such a case it is not inevitable one will come to squeeze. When doing dishes however it is impossible not to come to squeeze, and the squeezed liquid does not go to waste as one uses it to help clean the dishes. [Regarding the sources for this conclusion: See Previous Halacha regarding cleaning spills with a sponge that has a handle and the footnotes there. Vetzaruch Iyun as explained there. See M”B 320/55; SSH”K 12 footnote 37; Minchas Yitzchak 3/50]

[41] There are three possible issues discussed in Poskim regarding these forms of sponges:

Squeezing, Uvdin Dechol, may apply by all sponges and Mimacheik may also apply by steel wool.

[42] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 33; Minchas Yitzchak 3/49; Beir Moshe 1/34

The Ketzos Hashulchan ibid prohibits it due to both reasons. The Minchas Yitzchak states that steel wool is forbidden being that it contains a Rabbinical squeezing prohibition similar to hair. Beir Moshe 1/34 states that although doing so does not involve a squeezing prohibition [certainly not by the thick stranded steel wool] it is perhaps forbidden due to Uvdin Dechol. Nevertheless he does not rule this way conclusively and hence leaves room for it being allowed.

[43] SSH”K 122/10; Cheishev Haeifod 2/149-however see below that he rules the sponge must be designated.

Beir Moshe ibid in previous footnote rules that possibly no prohibition of squeezing is involved even by closely netted sponges of synthetic or metal materials, although it may be forbidden by all sponges due to Uvdin Dechol. Practically he concludes that by closely knitted sponges it is forbidden, while by others it is unclear due to Uvdin Dechol. SSH”K argues that there is no precedence to claim that there is an issue of Uvdin Dechol involved.

[44] According to this opinion if this metal sponge visibly has its strands not so close together then it is permitted to be used. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 323/4]

[45] Due to the Mimacheik prohibition, as ruled similarly regarding silver in 323/11 [SSH”K ibid] However it is clear from Beir Moshe/Ketzos Hashulchan that he does not hold of this. Nevertheless the Beir Moshe concludes not to use the steel wool on plates which involve lots of scrubbing.

[46] Beir Moshe ibid

[47] Even with steel wool [so long as one does not rub very thoroughly], and even if the strands are close together. [ibid]

[48] Cheishev Haeifod 2/149; Minchas Yitzchak 3/50 regarding a sponge with a  handle.

[49] SSH”K 12/24, and so is implied clearly from Admur 323/11 regarding polishing silver that it is only a problem if it inevitably will remove a layer of the silver, hence implying that plain polishing is not forbidden.

Background: The Mahril rules it is forbidden to polish glass dishes using oats. The M”A 323/15 questions as to why this should be forbidden and suggests that perhaps only washing dishes from dirt did the Sages allow, however to polish is forbidden. He concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun. Admur completely omitted this ruling of the Mahril hence implying it is allowed [in addition to the previously mentioned implication]. SSH”K 12/24 in name of Rav SZ”A rules it is allowed, as even according to Mahril it was only prohibited to polish using oats. Tehila Ledavid 323/17 however explains it is forbidden to polish the vessels due to Tikkun Keli.

[50] Mahril; Tehila Ledavid brought in previous footnote; Toras Shabbos 323/9

[51] SSH”K ibid, Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as to the basis of his ruling!

[52] So is implied clearly from Admur 323/11 regarding polishing silver that it is only a problem if it inevitably will remove a layer of the silver, hence implying that plain polishing is not forbidden.

[53] However a cream may not be used due to the smearing prohibition. Likewise if using water one must be careful to use only a permitted type of sponge, as explained above.

[54] As tarnish is an actual layer of the metal which has corroded, and its only form of cleansing is removal.

[55] Tehila Ledavid 323/17

[56] This is forbidden possibly due to the Mimacheik and Tochein prohibition. [ibid]

[57] 323/5

[58] Whether made of glass, metal or any other materials which requires immersion. [See M”B 323/32 and so is implied from Admur which does not differentiate between the two]

[59] So concludes Admur in 323/5 [“and if one is unable to do the above, don’t immerse the vessels” and “if one transgressed and immersed the vessels” and so summarizes the Ketzos Hashulchan 146/3 that doing so is forbidden.]

Background: Admur brings a dispute regarding this matter:

  1. The first [stam] opinion rules that new vessels may be immersed on Shabbos even if one was able to immerse them before Shabbos. Their reasoning is because according to them immersion is only Rabinically required for new vessels, while Biblically the vessels may be used without immersion. Hence immersing the vessel is not considered like one is fixing the vessel, as Biblically the vessel is already useable.
  2. Others however rule that immersing new vessels is forbidden due to it being considered like one is fixing the vessel. According to them this applies even if one did not have the ability to immerse the vessels before Shabbos.
  3. It goes without saying that immersing vessels is forbidden according to the opinion which rules that immersing new vessels is Biblically required. As on this premises by immersing the vessel one is doing it a significant fixture according to all, of which the Sages forbade being that it is exactly similar to fixing a vessel which is a Biblical prohibition.
  4. The practical ramification between the 2nd and 3rd opinion is regarding glass vessels, which according to all is only Rabbinically required to be immersed.
  5. Practically: One may not immerse vessels in a Mikveh on Shabbos as the main opinion follows the opinion which rules that immersing new vessels is Biblically required. [so concludes Admur in 323/5 and so summarizesthe Ketzos Hashulchan 146/3. Vetzaruch Iyun from the wording of Admur prior to this ruling that “A G-d fearing Jew will fulfill his obligation according to all and give the vessel to a gentile…” Hence implying that from the letter of the law one may be lenient like the first opinion and immerse the vessel. So also implies the M”B [323/33] from this similar wording of Michaber, that the Michaber rules mainly like the first opinion that it is permitted. Thus how can Admur say that one who immersed the vessel has transgressed. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol!!]

[60] As it is only permitted to give a present to a gentile on Shabbos if it is being done for the sake of Shabbos. [ibid]

[61] Being that this vessel will now remain in the hands of the Jew forever, and is thus similar to him having bought it. Alternatively it is similar to a borrowed Tallis which required Tzitzis after 30 days even though it is not his. Based on this it should be immersed even with a blessing. Nevertheless since I have not found the matter explicitly ruled in Poskim I am hesitant to rule this way, and rather one should immerse another vessel that requires a blessing together with it. [Yoreh Deah Taz 120/18]

[62] Taz in previous footnote. This applies even according to Admur, and the reason Admur did not state this explicitly is because he is dealing with a case that one only has this vessel to immerse. [Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 6]

[63] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 6

[64] This does not appear like one is fixing the vessel, as it is not evident at all that one is intending to purify the vessel. This is because not everyone knows that this vessel has not yet been immersed hence causing the onlooker to say he is doing so in order to use the drawn water. [ibid]

[65] As for why a woman who immerses on Shabbos may say a blessing, this is because the Sages never originally decreed against women immersing on Shabbos. The reason for this is because at the times of the Sages it was not recognizable as to for what purpose the woman is immersing, and hence the Tikkun was never recognizable. Alternatively this is because the decree against immersing vessels is because one may come to actually fix a vessel which is Biblically forbidden. The Sages however were not this suspicious regarding a person immersing. [Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 8]

[66] M”B 323/36

[67] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 7

Other opinions: However the Kaf Hachayim rules one may immerse all vessels in the Mikveh under the disguise that one is doing so to clean the vessel. The Ketzos Hashulchan argues on this saying that it is never common to wash dirt off vessels in a Mikveh, and hence all will know one’s true intents.

[68] So is clearly implied from Ketzos Hashulchan ibid regarding his argument against the Kaf Hachayim, and so is evident from the fact he writes that drawing water with the vessel is allowed because “at times today people do draw water from the Mikveh”. Now, although this may have been true in the 1950’s, the time of the publishing of this Sefer, today this is certainly not the case, and hence the Halacha likewise changes.

[69] As if Admur is referring to one who did so by mistake, then his ruling carries no novelty, as it is already ruled in 339/7 that no fine was enacted against Rabbinical decrees done inadvertently. Hence one must conclude that Admur includes even the advertent sinner in this ruling, that no fine was applied even to him.

[70] Although in general the Sages fined all transgressors against benefiting from their forbidden actions until after Shabbos, even by a Rabbinical transgression, nevertheless in this case no fine was given being that there are opinions which allow doing so even initially. [ibid]

[71] 323/8; 509/15

[72] 509/1

Thus for oneself to do so is allowed, if he knows this Halacha, while for another, it is not allowed if he does not know this Halacha, and hence one may not tell him that it is allowed. The reason for this is because if they are told it is allowed they may come to also immerse vessels that could have been immersed before Yom Tov. [ibid]

[73] As this itself is considered as if one is ruling to them that immersing vessels is allowed, and they may come to immerse vessels even in cases that are not allowed. [ibid]

[74] 323/9

[75] According to all this is not considered as if one is fixing the vessel as the actual vessel is permitted to be used and it is just that the non-Kosher food prohibits its use. Hence rinsing it off is similar to rinsing off feces from it. [ibid]

[76] Although non-Kosher food is Muktzah, nevertheless its remains are nullified completely to the vessel and do not have the ability to prohibit moving it at all. [ibid]

[77] M”B 323/33

[78] Kaf Hachayim 323

[79] As this is a doubt in a Rabbinical case in which the rule allows one to be lenient.

[80] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 5

[81] As even in a case of doubt we rule all vessels need to be immersed, even if made of glass, as one may not actively enter himself into a Rabbinical doubt by avoiding the immersion. Thus since the vessel is forbidden to be used until immersed even in a case of doubt, we return to the same debate in whether this it is allowed to be done or is forbidden because it appears as if one is fixing the vessel. [ibid]

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